India to supply 300 MW electricity to power-starved Nepal in 18 months

India to supply 300 MW electricity to power-starved Nepal in 18 months

Kathmandu: India on Friday agreed to supply 300 MW of electricity to energy-starved Nepal in the next one-and- a-half year as the two sides decided to expedite construction of cross-border transmission lines and boost bilateral cooperation including in power trade.

Energy secretaries of the two countries agreed that Nepal will import 80 MW electricity from India through Muzaffarpur- Dhalkebar transmission line in the next three weeks.

During the two-day meeting of Joint Working Committee (JWC) and Joint Steering Committee on Nepal-India Cooperation in Power Sector that concluded on Friday, both sides also agreed to increase the import of electricity from the transmission line to 200 MW by next winter by increasing its capacity and to run it in full capacity by December, 2017.

The high-level meeting was co-chaired by Nepal Energy Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma and India’s Power Secretary Pradip Kumar Pujari, according to a press release issued by the Energy Ministry.
Despite the potential of importing 1,000 MW electricity from the transmission line, there is no high power substation in Dhalkebar to transform power as per the demand. So there is a need to increase the capacity of substation for the import of additional power, according to officials.

The meeting also stressed on the need to expedite the construction works relating to 132 KV Kataiya-Kushwaha and Raxaul-Parwanipur transmission lines so as to enable import of additional 100 MW of electricity from India by September, 2016.

During the meeting, that mainly discussed implementation of power trade agreement the two countries signed in 2014, matters relating to expediting construction works of cross- border transmission lines, grid connectivity and power trade between Nepal and India came up.

The meeting evaluated the discussions held during yesterday’s meeting and stressed on the need to make these mechanisms and other technical committees more active so as to boost bilateral cooperation.

The meeting evaluated the cross-border transmission plans being prepared by technical committees and also analysed the findings of a study relating to the operation of cross-border transmission system. The findings of the study will be presented during the third meeting of the Joint Committee scheduled to take place in June.

During today’s meeting, both sides expressed hope that India will prepare necessary policy arrangements for power trading purposes under the free market concept within 6 to 8 months so as to allow Nepalese power producers to have access to Indian market for exporting power generated by them in future.

Nepal, currently reeling under an energy shortage, has been facing a power outage for 14 hours daily.